Who would have thought that Harley Davidson®, would be the first major manufacturer to enter into the infamous world of electric mobility. Aimed at diverse Harley’s® current buyer demographic, it's important to realise that the LiveWire™ represents more than just a premium electric motorcycle… It’s a glimpse into what Harley’s® engineers are truly capable of and solidifies a bright future for electric mobility.
Forget shifting, clutch control and the sound of a traditional heart thumping V-Twin. The LiveWire™ has a unique tendency of making any rider feel “unfamiliar” about the experience. At the heart of the bike is Harley’s® ’Renewable Energy Storage System’, a 5.5kWh high-voltage lithium ion battery pack with a built-in power generation system. Encased in an aluminum housing with cooling fins, as you’d expect, the battery isn’t considered ‘light’. The total weight of the bike comes to 210kgs. Sure, the weight can be felt being maneuvered around the dealership, yet once on the road, it is remarkable how flickable and agile the LiveWire™ becomes.
Producing the instant torque is the permanent magnet electric motor, which is located below the battery, for a lower centre of gravity. With a rather staggering 105 bhp and 116 Nm of torque, the LiveWire™ isn’t something to be messed with lightly. As many of you know, one of the key differences between conventional petrol and electric motorbikes is the instantaneous torque factor. A simple twist of the throttle with the LiveWire™ is all is needed, as no clutch means no need to change gears. This results in an acceleration speed of 0-100 km in just over 3 seconds.
The highly advanced electronic package is controlled by the full-colour TFT touch-screen dash. Here is where owners can choose between 4 selectable riding modes, Sport, Road, Rain and Range. These all change slight characteristics about the power dynamics, braking and suspension of the bike. Three custom modes are also available, allowing full optimisation over the bike. Here is where you can fully customise the LiveWire™ to match your exact riding style and preference. For safety the Livewire features Harley’s® Reflex™ Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) which you can read more about here.
How long does it take to charge?
Level 1 - Charging at home is one of the best ways to ensure the LiveWire™ will be ready for the next day of riding. Often owners will leave the bike overnight as the charge time is claimed to be 12.5 hours or 15 km range per hour of charge.
Level 2 - An option to upgrade to a level 2 charger is available for you home, however this has the same charging rate as level 1. With level 2, owners can schedule, track and set reminders for charging times.
Level 3 - By far the quickest way to charge the LiveWire™ is by hitting up any public Level 3 DC Fast Charge station for 80% charge in 40 minutes or 100% charge in an hour. The Official Harley Davidson® App is great when it comes to the LiveWire™ as it can display all the nearby DC Fast Charging stations near you.
What is the travel range?
Harley® states that the LiveWire™ can do a minimum of 235km of city range. For reference, that is a similar range to that of the Sportster models. For highway riding, you’ll be looking a little closer to the 158km mark.
A feature that at first sounded rather odd, was the Haptic Pulse, otherwise none as the “heart beat pulse”. Yet after experiencing it for myself, I came to appreciate it. As the LiveWire™ has no sound, the “heart beat pulse” is a reminder that there is in fact a highly powerful engine sitting between the rider’s legs. The pulsing sensation can be felt as if somebody was tapping the back tire, yet this isn’t overpowering or distracting and doesn't overstay its welcome. You can deactivate it through your dealership, or set it on high or low pulsing. The Haptic Pulse stops once riding and is only felt while stopped to reproduce an idling feel.
Equipped with high-performance SHOWA™ front and rear suspension, you can dial comfort and handling as they are both fully adjustable. Sporting premium 180mm rear and 120mm front H-D®/Michelin™ Scorcher™ Sport tyres, they were designed exclusively to enhance the ride and handling performance of this ground-breaking machine.
If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that everybody should try the LiveWire™ out for themselves. Granted the uniqueness of the bike may not be sitting eye to eye with your particular interests, however the utter thrill of electric mobility is bound to leave you grinning ear to ear. The performance, quality and refinery that the LiveWire™ brings to the electric motorcycle market is unmatched. Harley's® LiveWire™ solidifies itself as being to-date, the most innovative electric motorcycles ever manufactured.
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Book your test ride today and experience the Livewire™ for yourself. Visit Harley Davidson® Canberra, 281 CANBERRA AVE, FYSHWICK, ACT 2606. Call (02) 6185 0516 today!
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